Citizen Diplomat Award

About the Award

The Global Ties U.S. Citizen Diplomat Award honors individuals and institutions for outstanding achievements in furthering the cause of international understanding and global engagement. Nominees are motivated by a deep understanding of world issues and committed to the exchange of persons and ideas.

Awardees are selected from a broad range of fields, including the arts, culture, government service, science, media, business, and education. The award is presented at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting and accompanied by an acceptance speech to an audience of nearly 1,000.

Who can submit a nomination?

Any current or former staff member associated with a Community-Based Member, National Program agency, the U.S. Department of State, as well as Interpreters and Liaisons working on IVLP projects is welcome to submit a nomination for the Citizen Diplomat Award.

Awardees By Year


Daisy Khan, Doctor of Ministry, Founder and Executive Director of Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), and the Rid-All Green Partnership from Cleveland, Ohio


Justin Powell, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City youth humanitarian organization Youthlinc, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with special recognition to Andrea Bertrand, the Museum’s Programming Manager for International Audiences


Susan Sygall, CEO and co-founder, Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and Life Pieces to Masterpieces



Dave Fortier, Founder, One World Strong Foundation 


Serve2Unite – Arno Michaelis & Pardeep Singh Kaleka


Mohamed Amin Ahmed, Founder, Average Mohamed


Clifton L. Taulbert, CEO, The Freemount Corporation


Seth Goldman, Co-Founder and TeaEO Emeritus, Honest Tea


Richard C. Morais, Author, The Hundred-Foot Journey


Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Company and De La Sol Haiti


Dr. Aaron Shirley, Founder of the HealthConnect program in Jackson, Mississippi, Chairman of the Board for the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation, and co-founder of the Jackson Hinds Comprehensive Health Center


Rick Steves, Author and Founder, “Europe Through the Back Door”


Garth Fagan, President, Garth Fagan Dance


Keith Reinhard, President, Business for Diplomatic Action, and Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide


Richard Stanley, Founder and CEO of the Stanley Foundation


Maya Angelou, internationally-acclaimed Poet and Activist


The Honorable John Richardson, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Director of Education and Training at the U.S. Institute for Peace


Senator J. William Fulbright